The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed announcing its decision on BlackRock’s application for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In a filing on Jan. 24, SEC Assistant Secretary Sherry Haywood said the Commission found it appropriate to designate a longer waiting period to consider the proposed rule change.

BlackRock applied to trade its iShares Ethereum Trust under the Nasdaq Rule 5711(d) as a commodity-based trust. The proposed rule change was submitted to the Federal Register on Dec. 11, and the SEC is yet to receive any comments on the proposal.

To many industry watchers, the delay is hardly surprising, given the SEC’s history of pushing deadlines for similar applications in the past over the 240-day-period. The securities regulator will likely make its final decision on spot Ethereum ETF applications on the last deadline in May. 

The approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs earlier this month set off a wave of optimism around a potential Ethereum ETF, and a rally around the underlying digital asset, which has gained an impressive 20% against Bitcoin – its strongest market performance since the end of 2022.

However, statements from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler would suggest that those who are holding out hope for a spot Ethereum ETF should taper down expectations. 

“As I said two weeks ago, that which we did with regard to bitcoin exchange traded products is cabined to this one commodity non-security and shouldn’t be read to be anything other than that,” said Gensler in a media briefing on Wednesday, reported by The Block.